Mathehu's Weblog

mulling over (research) ideas

Tackling health inequality and mental wellbeing in the community: Reflection on a project evaluation

The first impression I had when starting an evaluation of a project tackling health inequalities and mental wellbeing in a defined community was that the key terms are vague and – at least on first impression- not well defined. Hence, first challenge for the evaluation.

The project builds on changes to existing service delivery within the area, particularly on improved partnership working. Here is the second (and related) challenge, what does partnership working mean?

A look through the baseline data and relevant community surveys showed another interesting picture. 80% of the project area was classified as very deprived in Council and Government reports. However, survey findings indicate high satisfaction with most features of the area. The main problems appear to be drug use and prostitution but these were mentioned as problems by less than a third of the surveyed people. Also, some wellbeing scores (using WemWbs) were higher in this area than in one of the regions most affluent areas. Serendipitously, just this week a paper was published looking income and happiness in a global survey.

The authors write that  the level of income was a predictor of life evaluation but not so much of positive and negative feelings. These feelings were strongly related to the fulfillment of psychological needs, including learning, autonomy, using one’s skills, respect, and the ability to count on others in an emergency. They conclude that a person’s economic status and psycho-social evaluation predict different types of well-being. Interesting.

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July 27, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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